Latino Groups Call For Grand Jury Investigation of Santa Ana

Mayor Miguel Pulido - Photo: Chris Prevatt/LiberalOC

Seven Latino organizations ware asking the Orange County Grand Jury to investigate top Santa Ana officials including Mayor Miguel Pulido, the city police chief and the city attorney.

“The organizations are ready to help the City solve its many issues, but are concerned about a pattern and practice of abusing the public trust and money,” said Francisco Barragán, Commander of the United Mexican-American Veterans Association.

“Resident complaints have little impact. We need an outside agency to investigate and protect the taxpayers and voters of Santa Ana before we see another Bell,” added Amin David, founding member of Los Amigos of Orange County.

The groups filing the complaint Wednesday include Los Amigos of Orange County, the state’s League of Latin American Citizens (LULAC), The Santa Ana Chapter of LULAC, United Mexican-American Veterans Association, The Rudy Escalante Chapter of the American GI Forum of the United States, MANA de Orange County, and the Santa Ana Coalition for Better Government.

Barragán and others have spoken at Santa Ana City Council meetings to no avail.

The groups have asked the Grand Jury to investigate the following:

  • A severance package totaling $337,779 to City Attorney Joseph Fletcher including $142,000 of severance and other benefits. Fletcher’s start date was backdated 13 years increasing his unused vacation and sick days to $191,699. Severance should be provided upon termination. Fletcher appears to have resigned.
  • City Police Chief Paul Walters used his police affiliation and rank in a robo-call the day before municipal elections to support Mayor Miguel Pulido in which he made false statements. In the call made during work hours, the chief made it sound as if he had conducted an official investigation that never occurred. The call, possibly made under duress while police contracts were pending, appears to be a violation of ethics, professional standards and state law.
  • Mayor Miguel Pulido was set to receive a $500,000 finder’s fee after using his clout as mayor to link developers, who have already paid him consulting fees, to the sale of state-owned property. Bringing buyers to the table to purchase property requires a real estate broker’s or agent’s license. Using the mayor’s office for personal gain violates the city’s code of ethics ordinance.
  • City council members voted on a housing project even though five of even received donations from the developers. Three abstained but two who took money voted on the project anyway. The unethical behavior is just one numerous ways in which developers are controlling votes in Santa Ana with the help of its leadership.

  5 comments for “Latino Groups Call For Grand Jury Investigation of Santa Ana

  1. junior
    January 6, 2011 at 6:41 am

    Did these groups actually file a written complaint to the Grand Jury? I would like to see that.

    • January 6, 2011 at 7:22 am

      The complaint should be filed today from what I understand.

  2. Frank Gomez
    January 10, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    I’d feel a lot better about this effort if there were more people WHO ACTUALLY LIVE in Santa Ana behind it!

    The Author of the post does’nt, neither of the the Santa Ana Coalition for Better Government leaders do, according to other websites, and thier own.

    It is scary that outside influences are trying shape the city.

    But, there is a simple answer: MOVE HERE! relocate your business here, spend your money here. If you don’t, your complaints, however well intentioned appear to be sour grapes and self-serving.

    • January 10, 2011 at 4:48 pm

      Frank (or should I say “Ken”?) — your logic is flawed because corruption is cirruptioni no matter where the person who points it out resides. Santa Ana is the county seat which means we all have a vested interest in what goes on there. By your logic, only bloggers and journalists who reside in Arizona could comment onj the shooting there this weekend.

      Not living in Irvine or Anaheim hasn’t stopped Art Pedroza or Sean Mill from going after the Irvine city council or AUSD trustee Jordan Brandman (though I will concede Sean Mill works in Irvine; hard to tell based on the amount of time he spends blogging/commenting).

      I moved to Irvine solely for the schools. Then I discovered what a wonderful safet place it is to raise a family. And I’ve made lifelong friends here. SAUSD and Irvine spend about the same per pupil on education yet Irvine schools soar.

      And as far as this blog goes, it’s the LiberalOC..not the LiberalIrvine or the LiberalAnaheuim or the LiberalSantaAna….

      • Frank Gomez
        January 13, 2011 at 6:45 pm

        Not sure who “Ken” is,but I’ll agree, that the Liberal OC should cover county-wide issues. How about the trouble in Mission Viejo? The Fireman debacle in Brea.

        What about the Gay kid getting beaten to a pulp at Edison, whose Dad pulled some strings with the Viet community to make it go away?
        For 41 years I have watched people like these come and go, taking a little piece of the community each time! Where are the Noji’s, Franklin’s, Woods, Ministerals (sp), Smiths now?

        Just like you guys: TUSTIN, IRVINE and LONG BEACH.

        Get a local blogger.

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